Meadow Vetchling
Lathyrus pratensis L.

Meadow grass


Meadow Vetchling is a perennial plant, 30-120 cm tall, with a thin and creeping root and a hollow, flattened, four-sided, creeping and heavily branched stem. Leaves, lanceolate, 2-4cm long and 0.5-1cm wide, arranged in pairs, have large leaflets 0.7-3.7cm long and 0.2-1.2cm wide. They have "whiskers" with which the plant clings to the support.

The flowers are slightly flattened, 1.5-2 times longer than the leaves. Flowers butterfly-shaped, 1-1.5 cm long, arranged in a bunch of 3-10 flowers. Fruit - pods, elongated linear. The length of the pod is 2.5-3.5 cm and inside it there are on average 8 compressed-round, smooth seeds.

This plant is interesting in that it adapts to different regions where it grows, in Asia this plant has its own characteristics, in Georgia and the Caucasus it has its own, but here it is completely different.

The meadow Vetchling living in our region have bright yellow flowers, 35-60 cm in height, in rare cases they reach up to 1 m. The stems are strongly branched and strongly leafy. Vegetation period 80-90 days. Plants of our group are resistant to low temperatures and fungal diseases, and are able to ripen seeds late. Therefore, the meadow Vetchling of our group can be harvested for medicinal purposes throughout the first half of summer.

For medicinal purposes, meadow Vetchling is harvested throughout the flowering period of the plant until the first fruits appear. The leaves and sedges are collected, cleaned of other grasses and yellowed leaves, dried in the fresh air by spreading the plant on cloth or paper in a thin layer, shaking them from time to time. It is permissible to dry the plant also tied in small bundles and hung. A properly dried plant contains 14% moisture. The plant is stored for 1-2 years.

The roots of meadow Vetchling are dug in September-October, as soon as the surface part has died, or they are dug in early spring, in April. The roots are washed and dried on sieves in a shady and well-ventilated place. The roots can also be dried in forced dryers not exceeding 45-50C, they can be stored for 2 years.

The young shoots and leaves that appear in early spring can also be used as food. Used fresh - in various salads.

Meadow Vetchling like other legumes, is a valuable source of protein, especially its fruits and leaves during the vegetation period and during flowering - 17-28%. In addition to proteins, the green parts of the plant contain 2.5% fat, 51% fiber, 22.4% non-nitrogenous matter. The aerial part of the plant contains carotene, vitamin A, saponins, bitter substances, ferulic and caffeic acid, vitamin C (up to 800mg% during flowering), kaempferol and quercetin, as well as leucoanthocyanin compounds.

The aerial part of the plant contains 54% of essential amino acids. Proline (10.8%), serine (9.5%), leucine (9.2%), alanine (8.9%), histamine (8.1%), lysine (7.3%) and tryptophan ( 7.3%).

Meadow Vetchling accumulates potassium (1.4%) and calcium (0.8%), and the plant also contains 0.25% phosphorus, 0.03% sodium, 0.08% sulfur and 0.17% magnesium.

However, elements such as copper, zinc, lead, cobalt, nickel and cadmium are present in trace amounts.

Mono- and diglycerides, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylinsitol, phosphatidylic acid, lysophospholipids, phytocerebrosides have been found in the plant. The concentration of biologically active substances in the plant changes according to its growth phases. The maximum content of ononin (22%) in the plant is during the active vegetation period, the most formononetin (18%) and rutin (20%) is during the flowering period. Flavonoids (3.56%) at the moment when the fruit starts to form from the flower. However, the content of the glycoside luteolin and quercetin is unchanged.

Medicinal significance

The active substances of meadow Vetchling are flavonoids, which have an activating effect on humoral and cellular immunity. At therapeutic concentrations, plant extracts enhance the anti-tumor activity of human lymphocytes. Meadow Vetchling is also included among plants with antioxidants that strengthen immunity.

Meadow Vetchling contains ferulic acid, which has anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, hepatoprotective, antiviral and antibacterial effects. Due to the high content of rutin, ononin and other glycosides, the plant's preparations have strong anti-edematous and pain-relieving properties. The activity of vitamin P nutrients manifests itself as an allergic reaction-reducing and bronchial asthma-accelerating effect.

Caffeine and caffeic acid, which is found in the leaves and stems of the plant, have a beneficial effect on the brain, increasing mental performance without increasing blood pressure.

Clinical and experimental studies have established the expectorant properties of meadow Vetchling . A decoction prepared from 0.6-0.8 grams of the drug per 200 ml of water has a gentle effect and does not cause side effects. This can be explained by irritation of stomach receptors, increase in secretion of bronchial glands and activation of airway epithelia. A similar effect is possessed by the leaves of common sedum, marsh wort, anise seeds, licorice root and thermopsis, which is why meadow Vetchling is included in drug mixtures used to treat chronic bronchitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, cough of various origins, respiratory tract abscess.

Extracts, infusions and extracts from meadow Vetchling are also used to reduce nervous tension, cardiac neurosis, hypertension, climacteric symptoms - the plant reduces CNS excitation and has an antispasmodic effect on internal organs. Therefore, meadow Vetchling, together with medicinal valerian, medicinal lemon balm, hawthorn, St. John's wort and asparagus, is used as a sedative.

A water infusion of the seeds of meadow Vetchling is used to treat impotence and stomach disorders. Good results have also been obtained in the treatment of nephritis with sufficient kidney function and inflammation of the bladder by combining meadow Vetchling with asparagus.

The arrangement of meadow Vetchling, wormwood stimulates the appetite. It has a bitter taste, it irritates the receptors of the tongue, such reflectors increase the secretion of gastric juice.

The roots of the plant contain astringent substances that can be used to treat diarrhea.

A decoction is made from the root, which helps against diarrhea, heartache and insomnia. Two teaspoons of roots are poured with 1 cup of boiling water and boiled in a water bath for another 15 minutes. The obtained decoction is kept for 2 hours and the thickness is separated. Use 1-2 tablespoons, 3-4 times a day.

Preparations of meadow Vetchling improve the general condition of people who have a cold. To treat respiratory organs, improve sputum output and calm cough, use the setting of the surface part of the plant with the calculation: 1 teaspoon of the drug per 1 glass of boiling water. Pour over the drugs and leave for 2 hours, separate the thickness and use 1 tbsp. 3-4 times a day, half an hour before meals.

Not recommended for use

It has been experimentally determined that the leaves and stems of the plant are completely safe. Poisonings with this plant have not been registered, and no poisonous substances have been found in the plant.

However, this plant should not be used in large quantities (doses), because the plant has not been fully studied. For the Lathyrus plant family, the seeds tend to be dangerous, containing neurotoxins.

Research has determined that the plant is not poisonous until the end of flowering, but once the pods or seeds begin to form, like other legumes, it can contain an active acid that affects brain activity. Toxic substances break down when heat is applied.

If you also find cases of poisoning with this plant, then you can probably know that the statistics come from India, where during the famine this plant was on the main menu, because it grows easily and everywhere.